It's the end of the media world as we know it and nobody should feel fine. That may sound dramatic but with the Disney / Fox merger complete and the ramifications now coming to light, it's clear this isn't going to be sunshine and rainbows. Case in point, it's been revealed that Disney is shutting down the Fox 2000 label, a label responsible for making mid-budget movies that are already having a tough time finding a home in the marketplace these days.
According to a new report, Fox 2000, which has been run quite successfully by executive Elizabeth Gabler, is getting the ax as Disney starts their layoffs and restructuring. It's expected that 4,000 employees will be laid off as the now massive media empire tries to do away with redundancies within their corporate structure. Disney now owns 11 different studio labels and at some point, that may qualify as redundant. As such, Fox 2000 will soon be no more. The division is set to complete The Woman in the Window, which stars Amy Adams and Gary Oldman. After that, it's history.
Fox 2000 is responsible for movies such as Fight Club, The Fault In Our Stars, The Devil Wears Prada, The Thin Red Line, Marley & Me, Love, Simon (which was criminally underseen) and The Hate U Give, as well as the Best Picture Oscar nominee Hidden Figures. From Disney's perspective, there are likely other places within their now massive structure that these projects could happen, assuming they're interested. But therein lies the issue. For as many of the movies made at this label turned out to be big hits, many others were modest moneymakers, while quite a few others were outright misfires, like the Tommy Lee Jones action flick Volcano, a weird little personal favorite of mine.
Every studio has its hits and misses, but times are changing. Movies aren't as likely to be saved by supplemental revenue sources such as Blu-ray sales. Those markets are disappearing. A movie like Man on Fire may not have a place at Disney in the modern age, and that's the real shame. While there are reasons to be excited about the merger for certain moviegoers, most notably superhero lovers, given the X-Men and Fantastic Four are back with Marvel now, there are going to be a great many downsides that consumers may not be able to see as easily. It's hard to miss what someone never had, but the movie world will miss not having the next Walk the Line, Life of Pi or even Never Been Kissed. All made at Fox 2000.
Many filmmakers and movie lovers took to social media to mourn the loss. We've included some of those posts below. At the moment, it hasn't been made clear if Elizabeth Gabler will have a place as a producer elsewhere within the Disney structure, nor is it clear what will happen to the rest of her staff. It does, unfortunately, seem likely that many of them will be laid off. This news was first reported by Deadline.
After all these years, I’m still amazed I got to make DOWN WITH LOVE at a major studio. It was a hyper-specific, idiosyncratic period film. It took chances and was not an easy sell. Elizabeth Gabler and Fox 2000 made it happen, and I am forever grateful. #RIPFox2000https://t.co/3gqPgqxROx— Peyton Reed (@MrPeytonReed) March 22, 2019
Elizabeth Gabler is a Thalberg-level legend; Fox 2000 has made quality movies for years in the face of the growing amusement parkification of the movie biz. EG also fought for stories about women before it was trendy and mentored women like me. RIP2000. https://t.co/8Xb7GkhApV— Aline Brosh McKenna (@alinebmckenna) March 22, 2019
One of my first writing jobs was at Fox 2000 for the incredible Laura Ziskin. Elizabeth Gabler impressed me at every meeting, and the movies speak for themselves. Let’s keep making them. https://t.co/q6QbkQiX5e— John August (@johnaugust) March 22, 2019
This is a bad day for Hollywood and for audiences who love movies about humans and their lives.— Sarah Schechter (@SarahSoWitty) March 22, 2019
Specifically, anyone who likes to go to the actual movies to see movies about the human experience.
Fox 2000 was great to deal with as was the staff of strong, smart, talented women. https://t.co/BXd9vt3HoB
Fox 2000 optioned my first-ever book, When You Were Mine (or Rosaline). They’ve been home to some of my favorite sweet movies over the years. 💙 https://t.co/XgiQuKKRzF— Rebecca Serle (@RebeccaASerle) March 22, 2019
Fox 2000 acquired the Mueller Report. Now we’ll never see it.— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) March 22, 2019